Thursday, December 06, 2012

Paperback Romance or Vanille Insensee by Atelier Cologne

You know when you smell something so unlike what you expected that it really throws you, that is Vanille Insensee by Atelier Cologne for me. I had heard comparisons to Eau Duelle by Diptyque, but this is so unlike Eau Duelle I'm not even sure where to begin, the only likeness I can think they share is the use of a unique opening for a vanilla fragrance, but where as Eau Duelle ends up smelling like the little sister of Guerlain's Spiritueuse Double Vanille on me, Vanille Insensee is something completely different.

What first catches me is the incredibly dryness of it, no one is going to say way too sweet, then the lightest dusting of dry lime peel, and then the heavy but strangely light dose of cedar, and then a dry wispy jasmine kicks in, sure there are hints of vanilla, or more like vanilla dust swirled in there but the jasmine and cedar really take hold with a dry effusive musk. What it reminds me of in the end is the scent of paperbacks and fairly old ones, with the discoloring at the edges. What makes it all the more unique is that this is still recognizably a vanilla scent but so utterly strange.

This is not a scent I would choose to wear for one it uses a dry jasmine note that I have found constantly disagreeable on my skin (the jasmine note used in the original Nanette Lepore) on the other hand this is perfect for a weird olfactory experience. This could easily be worn by either sex.

A dry erudite vanilla, so bravo Atelier Cologne for creating something I did not think possible, seriously if you are vanilla lover and need to smell a unique take on vanilla try this.

Try if you like: Diptyque Eau Duelle, Prada Infusion d'Iris, The Scent of Departure Istanbul.

image by Alexander Korzer-Robinson

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Smell-a-likes in the Cheap Perfume Oil section

Sometimes I am amazed by what gets really marked-up and was essentially copied from the cheap perfume oils section of the Health Food Store/Hippie section of your local drugstore, on the other hand I get it, because sometimes there are really good smelling things there.

So I finally got my hands on One N' Only Argan Oil Treatment, and as I put it on I realized it smelled really good, and that I recognized the scent, but it took a few days for me to finally realize what I was smelling. It smells like Night Queen oil. An oil that I frequently wonder why the scent is more popular considering how popular other scents of the perfume oil variety have become, it is one of those clean florals in the Kai/Child category, although more rose based and tad muskier, with spices but most definitely a clean floral. Auric Blends Night Queen a good place to go for this fragrance.

Then the dupe known has the Jennifer Aniston fragrance and yes I fell for it, I admit at the time I was in a bit of fragrance funk at the time and wandering the local Sephora it was a distinct scent out of all the fruity florals at the time. It was clean and easy, which sometimes I really need, but a year later wandering around the local Sunflowers Market I see a Kuumba Made display and decided to try Pikake Lei, and immediately I knew I was smelling the Jennifer Aniston fragrance except more depth and longevity.

Another very duped fragrance by Kuumba Made is Vanilla Musk which smells essentially like the much pricier Pearl by Sage Machado.

image provided by, image: An Offering to Venus by John William Godward

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

In which I sample the good stuff: Diptyque's Creme Riche Body Butter

This is going to be a post about one of those things you hoard because you know quite frankly you are never going to buy it unless over night you become incredibly rich but every once in awhile you will think "...maybe I will..." Diptyque's Creme Rich Body Butter is definitely the fantasy body creme for me richly scented with rose that plays on loukhoum that thankfully never hits full dessert mode. The rose is full and true, sweet but never cloying, and there is a slight earthy dusky edge to it that is very seductive (I'm assuming it is the myrrh note). The texture is wonderful moisturizing rich but never oily or dense. Fragrance lasts for a good while and lends itself well to layering. It definitely has a sort of hammam quality to it that definitely makes you feel luxurious, well pampered, and clean.

Image: "In Anticipation of Summer" by Ekatarina Gocharova

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Mall Report: Chanel, Prada, Jo Malone, and Marchesa or what I really remember

So every once in awhile I have an extra long lunch break so I like to traipse over to the local mall and check out the latest fragrance offerings in the area.

First up Jo Malone's Blackberry and Bay which was not particularily very blackberry or bay, more citrussy than anything, which was disappointing because I love both of those things.

Then the big bad fruitchouli or as they are calling it over at Chanel, Coco Noir, sigh what an utter disappointment, the bottle is gorgeous, the name alone demands something good, but sadly this is a giant fruitchouli with some serious tenacity. Just no thank you.

Marchesa's Parfum D'Extase, big giant white floral, with possible headache inducing qualities, although touted as "fresh" and "different" I only smelled this on a card, and immediately knew it was not for I.

Prada Infusion d'Iris Absolue, this is pretty, very nice, not sure I need it with by bottle of Prada Candy still on the fuller side, as most have said imagine Infusion d'Iris mixed with Candy and you would have something like this but with a richer animalic dry down.

Tomorrow No6 by Naoko Stoop

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Perfume Review: Trussardi Jeans for Women

If you were to tell me one of my favorite fragrances was going to be called Jeans I would have laughed. I'm short and larger hipped, jeans and I for the most part do not get along, it is usually a once a year excursion into body dysmorphia of "Why won't these jeans f*&!ing jeans fit properly!?" At my plumpest and my thinnest jeans have not fit properly. On the other hand Trussardi Jeans is my go to anytime perfect fitting fragrance.

First off this fragrance is not necessarily original, in fact is smells like a very high end bit of a cult status fragrance, L'Artisan Jour de Fete, in fact nearly identical, except that Trussardi Jeans is in my estimation a better fragrance. Nor is my comparison original I learned of this fragrance and comparison through Aromascope.

Now what it means to me: rain water, violets, lovely clean diaphonous heliotrope, sweet milk, blanched almonds, and hints of peppery white musk (luckily not laundry detergent), and incredible calm. This is such a perfect calm space scent that caters to the comforting side but does not veer off into bakery land. It has excellent lasting power but is never overwhelming. When I don't know what to wear I reach for this. It is never offending but also never dull, for me it is my Guerlain Apres L'Ondee except it works on me.

Try if you like: Caron Farnesiana, L'Artisan Jour de Fete, Guerlain Apres L'Ondee, Black Phoenix Alchemy Dana O'Shee.

image by Tatiana Plakhova

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Prada Candy

It's funny had you said I would go through the bottles of one houses perfumes easily, I would not have guessed Prada. Not that I don't get the aesthetic of Prada but I am just not that high minded about my fashion, not that I don't have a concept of a beauty or that I can't appreciate the aesthetic of Prada, but I'm not a Prada woman unless you take into account their fragrances, then I am totally their woman. I went through a bottle of Infusion d'Iris eau de parfum, easily, garnered compliments, and have often consider replacing the bottle I used up. It was my easy elegant go anywhere scent that made me feel put together and at ease.

The news then came out about Candy and I wasn't quite sure what to expect, a gourmand from Prada? Then the advertising fun, playful, young bright exuberant pink, uh oh? Really, we should have all known better, this is Prada we are talking about. To say the aesthetic of this house is well controlled is an understatement.

So I finally catch my first whiff of Candy and an hour later I have a bottle, it is good, but completely not what is advertised, yes this will appeal to the young, but this scent will appeal to all ages.

First off ignore the name Candy, there is really nothing candy-ish about it, maybe hints of those amazing sea salt caramels in France or the delicious goat's milk caramel from Mexico called Cajeta but like I said hints. This scent though is firmly rooted in the Infusion family, it starts off with the gauzy note that always makes me think of papyrus and mineral dust but instead of being layered over iris this time it is layered over benzoin and white musk.  Towards the end a milky vanilla bean caramel shows up but it is light never ever overpowering, more like quality of two minutes after eating one of those delicious sea salt caramels where there is still a hint of nutty smooth sweetness in your mouth but for the most part it is gone. The effect is warm and comforting, it belongs to the family of Lea St. Barth scents, easy and comfortable but just really really good to smell. The thing is also it is very tasteful this scent is not going to offend anyone but it is interesting, it is a gourmand but one that runs away from heavy confections and rather is meant to remind the memory of confections, like this:
If I were to be really frank this is the gourmand for the people who think they hate gourmand, not diet gourmand, but rather the memory of really good treat.

Try if you like: Serge Luten Un Bois Vanille, Prada Infusion d'Iris Absolue, Al-Rehab Dalal, Kenzo Kenzo Amour, Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee.

first image: 'Cosas Intimas #72' by Conrad Roset 
second image:

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A return, the state of perfume, and orange blossom

The Staircase/ L'Escalier So it has been 4 years since I last posted here and as expected many things have happened. I suppose I left with no word, which is rude, but at the time I was in the middle of grad school, and going through the ending of my first major relationship. And then like so many countries the economy went bust, majorly, and well it still is.

I kept up with the fragrance world to a degree but let us be honest about one major thing, it is no longer the play land it once was, finances were hit hard, and over the years the price of perfume has risen absurdly. Indie for the most part means it should be around $100.00 and higher, unless you go very indie and try the etailers and etsy. Mainstream has released some good but mainly it has been a whole lot of bad, the fruitchouli has taken over the roll of fruity floral, and really there isn't much to say about that. On the other hand natural perfumes have gotten a whole lot better. Sadly some perfumes and perfumers have gone away. There is always the notes du jour, oud has stayed longer than expected, and suddenly it seems we are coming into an era of fragrance when uber-sexy isn't the point with the startling release of green and powdery from some major fragrance houses.

On the other hand some things don't change. I still love orange blossom and I must say the last four years has seen the return of this lovely note in a big way. Today I will start with something I bought yesterday, a cheap thrill by the price tag alone, but a big thrill I think for any orange blossom lover. LUSH's Orange Blossom, it is a gorgeous rendition of orange blossom. It is a true orange blossom scent that stays and stays, the longevity of it is marvelous considering fleeting is often a large problem for orange blossom scents. While it has some of the soapy qualities associated with orange blossom it also has a honeyed facet that keeps the sweetness of the blossoms going allowing it to not go into neroli territory. What is strikes me even more is the dry woody note placed in it that gives it a hint of incense. Even better it is never heavy. This is perfect for a hot summer and I plan to take advantage of that.

In another interesting turn I took the recommendation of one of the SA's at LUSH yesterday and layered it with Vanillary and the guy was definitely on to something, the orange blossom notes cut through the sweetness that times can be overwhelming in Vanillary. I have also had wonderful layering results with Vanillary and Pacifica's Malibu Lemon Blossom.

If you like Lorenzo Villoresi's Dilmun (which sometimes can be sweeter than I like) I think you will like LUSH's Orange Blossom they share that same ripe intense orange blossom note, which I would almost called fruited.

image: The Staircase/L'Escalier by Repp 1